William Monroe baseball’s 11-0 victory last Thursday in the regional quarterfinals against Thomas Jefferson gave Alex Kinsey two reasons to celebrate — the team continued on to the Region 3B semifinals, and the senior notched his first-ever career home runs in his last home game at Monroe.
Each of Kinsey’s two-run bombs solidified the team’s shutout against the Vikings, and earned them a regional semifinal berth against No. 1 seed Brentsville High School.
“It was really cool,” Kinsey said of his two out-of-the-park home runs. “This is the last night I have with my friends on the baseball team. From here we’ll play Brentsville next, and we’ve beaten them once. It looks like a bright road ahead for us.”
Kinsey started things off early for the Dragons after hitting a double in the first inning. A bunt from senior Braydon Collier allowed Kinsey to advance to third before a single base hit from Jonathan Sexton let Kinsey and Collier score the first two runs of the night. Followed by one more run, Monroe ended the first inning with a 3-0 advantage.
Kinsey then allowed sophomore Blake Shifflett to score Monroe’s fourth run in the bottom of the second inning off a single. After stealing second base, Kinsey himself was able to cross home plate off a play from Sexton.
“We swung the bats well, took advantage of some situations and ran the bases pretty aggressively. That helped us get some runs,” head coach Mike Maynard said.
Heading into the third inning with a 5-0 lead, junior Derek Ryan earned a walk to first base before advancing to third on a double from sophomore Hayden Gibson. A single from Shifflett sent Ryan and Gibson across home plate. With Shifflett still on first base, Kinsey hit his first home run in the bottom of the third, flipping the score to 9-0 over Thomas Jefferson.
“He’s had an unbelievable year,” Maynard said of Kinsey. “He’s one of the best athletes that I’ve ever coached. He’s got great hand-eye coordination. He’s a three-sport star. He’s just amazing. I was really happy for him.”
Kinsey’s second home run of the night would come after senior Logan Jones found himself on third base, adding Monroe’s last two runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Neither team would score again, ending the regional game in an 11-0 victory for the Dragons. Monroe was scheduled to play Brentsville High School at Brentsville after press time on Tuesday for the Region 3B semifinals.
“Baseball’s a crazy sport,” Maynard said ahead of the semifinal game against the No. 1 seed. “We know we have a chance.”